Ancient Monuments

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Part of the linear boundary known as the Wansdyke 425m south of New Barn Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Norton Malreward, Bath and North East Somerset

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3873 / 51°23'14"N

Longitude: -2.5613 / 2°33'40"W

OS Eastings: 361038.050546

OS Northings: 165515.165503

OS Grid: ST610655

Mapcode National: GBR JS.RSHW

Mapcode Global: VH891.KD99

Entry Name: Part of the linear boundary known as the Wansdyke 425m south of New Barn Farm

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1978

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003066

English Heritage Legacy ID: BA 168

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Civil Parish: Norton Malreward

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Details

The monument includes part of the linear boundary (prehistoric) known as the Wansdyke, situated on the summit of a ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the River Chew. The linear boundary survives as an asymmetrical bank which measures up to 15m wide and 1.5m high on one side and up to 4.5m high on the other above buried ditches. Geophysical surveys of much of the Wansdyke have shown ditches survive on both sides of the bank; where they are not visible they are preserved as entirely buried features. The linear boundary is known to be prehistoric in origin and was modified during the early medieval period when it was used as a military frontier and boundary work between Wessex and Mercia which was in place by the 9th century. Its name is derived from 'Woden's Dyke', Woden being the Anglo-Saxon god who also gave his name to Wednesday.

Other sections of the Wansdyke are the subject of separate schedulings.

Sources: PastScape 1066087

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Linear boundaries are substantial earthwork features comprising single or multiple ditches and banks which may extend over distances varying from less than 1km to over 10km. They survive as earthworks or as linear features visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs or as a combination of both. The evidence of excavation and study of associated monuments demonstrate that their construction spans the millennium from the Middle Bronze Age, although they may have been reused later. The scale of many linear boundaries has been taken to indicate that they were constructed by large social groups and were used to mark important boundaries in the landscape; their impressive scale displaying the corporate prestige of their builders. They would have been powerful symbols, often with religious associations, used to define and order the territorial holdings of those groups who constructed them. Linear earthworks are of considerable importance for the analysis of settlement and land use in the Bronze Age. The part of the linear boundary known as the Wansdyke 425m south of New Barn Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, adaptive re-use, military and territorial significance and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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